Amanda Anisimova, Danielle Collins, Alison Riske and Ajla Tomljanovic to take part in the UTR Pro Match Series in Palm Beach - UBITENNIS
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Amanda Anisimova, Danielle Collins, Alison Riske and Ajla Tomljanovic to take part in the UTR Pro Match Series in Palm Beach

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Grand Slam semifinalists Danielle Collins and Amanda Anisimova, top 20 player Alison Riske and Australian number 2 player Ajla Tomljanovic will make their return to the court for the second edition of the UTR Pro Match Series in Palm Beach (Florida).

 

The round-robin stage, which features a best-of-three Fast 4 sets scoring format, will be held on 22-23 May. The top two finishers will qualify for the final on Sunday 24th May. The final will feature two full-length sets, followed by a match tie-break.

Collins will take on Anisimova in the opening match on Friday. Riske is set to clash against Tomljanovic in the second match.

Collins won two NCAA titles in 2014 and 2016 durng her sophomore and senior years. The US player made a significant breakthrough on the WTA Tour when she reached the semifinals at the 2019 Australian Open. In 2020 she beat Elina Svitolina in the first round at the Bribane International before losing to Madison Keys in the quarter final. Collins lost to Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals in Adelaide.

“It will definitely be a transition not having fans to play in front of. That’s what makes being a professional athlete so special, is being able to have those interactions with fans and having people supporting you, said Danielle Collins.

Riske reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon last July and went on to qualify for the fourth round at the Australian Open last July.

“I think it’s an awesome opportunity to have a little bit of normalcy during this time, to compete on the tennis court”, said Riske.

 Ajla Tomljanovic is currently training with her boyfriend of Matteo Berrettini in Boca Raton (Florida). Tomljanovic reached her career-high singles ranking of world number 39. She won the 2009 Australian Open girls doubles title with Christina McHale. She lost all her four finals at the Pattaya Open, Rabat, Seul and Thailand Open.

“I am excited just to be a part of this because I think it’s the closest thing we can get to competing nowadays, and I think we have all missed just what we have all known for all our lives. Once the courts started opening up, I started hitting with my dad. Matteo has been in Florida since Indian Wells, so he was hitting with me. Now he found someone better, so I am just kind of scraping for people to hit with”, said Tomljanovic.

 Ansimova won the 2017 Junior US Open. She became the first US finalist at the Roland Garros girls’ singles tournament in 14 years. Anisimova won her maiden WTA title in Bogotà in 2019 against Astra Sharma and became the youngest semifinalist at the French Open since 2006 after beating Aryna Sabalenka in the second round and Simona Halep in the quarter final. Anisimova began her 2020 season in Auckland, where she lost to Serena Williams in the semifinal.

“It was really challenging at first, the unknown about the future, when we are going to play again. It’s put things in perspective, everything that’s going on. There are bigger things going on with the health of others, so it’s OK to be on pause for a little bit. I am sure we will come soon”, said Anisimova.

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Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos win their doubles team title in 2020 in Rome

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Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos clinched their third doubles team title in 2020 after beating Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6-4 5-7 10-8. They are the only team to win multiple ATP Tour trophies this year. 

 

Granollers and Zeballos won their second ATP Masters 1000 trophy as a team after lifting the Rogers Cup in Canada last year. They earned a championships point when Zeballos hit a forehand return winner at 8-8 in the Match Tie-Break. Zeballos and Granollers have improved their record on clay this season to 16-1. They won two consecutive titles in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero last February and reached the final in Kitzbuhel. 

“This is one of the best moments in my career. This tournament has a lot of history. I watched it for many years, since I was a little kid, so this tournament is really important. Winning Rome is a huge thing for me and for sure for Marcell too, so can I say ? I am so happy. You could see in our faces when we finished the match”, said Zeballos. 

“After Buenos Aires and Rio, I think we felt very good on clay playing together. We both grew up playing on clay when we were young and we feel very good on clay. I think we can play very good and we are very happy to win our third title of the year on clay”, said Granollers. 

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Diego Schwartzman battles past Denis Shapovalov to reach his first Masters 1000 in Rome

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Argentine’s Diego Schwartzman battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-4 5-7 7-6 after three hours and 15 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Schwartzman broke six times and hit 25 winners to 27 unforced errors. The Argentine held serve in the first game when Shapovalov hit a forehand error. Schwartzman broke serve at 15 when Shapovalov made a double fault in the second game. 

Schwartzman held his service game to open up a 3-0 lead when Shapovalov netted a forehand. Shapovalov held serve at love with a smash winner to claw his way back to 1-3. Both players went on serve in the next four games. Shapovalov forced an error from Schwartzman to convert his third break point, as the Argentine player was serving for the set at 5-3. Schwartzman sealed the first set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game after 48 minutes, as Shapovalov netted a forehand. 

Shapovalov earned two breaks and dropped his serve once to win the second set 7-5. Both players held serve in the first four games, before Shapovalov got the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Canadian player consolidated the break with a service winner for 4-2. 

Schwartzman saved two break points in the seventh game before Shapovalov held serve at 15 to build up a 5-3 lead. Schwartzman held serve at love in the ninth game and got the break back to draw level to 5-5, when Shapovalov made a double fault as he was serving for the set.

Schwartzman wasted a game point in the 11th game before dropping serve in the 11th game at deuce. Shapovalov fended off a set point and served out the set at deuce to force the match to the decider. 

Shapovalov saved three break points in the second game before breaking serve with a smash winner to take a 2-1 lead. Schwartzman broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Shapovalov broke serve to take a 3-2 lead, as Schwarzman sent a forehand wide in the fifth game. Shapovalov held serve at 15 to build up a 4-2 lead. Schwartzman broke back in in the eighth game. Shapovalov got his third break in the decisive set with a volley winner. 

Schwartzman broke back to draw level to 5-5, as Shapovalov netted a backhand. They held serve in their next service game to send the match to the tie-break. Shapovalov got an early mini-break in the tie-break, but dropped his serve in the second point, when he sent a forehand wide. Schwartzman open up a 3-1 lead, when Shapovalov made a double fault and hit a drop shot error. 

Shapovalov got the mini-break back, but he made a forehand error to fall behind 2-4. Shapovalov drew level to 4-4 when Schwartzman hit a backhand wide. Schwartzman took a 5-4 lead, as Shapovalov made a backhand error. 

Schwartzman opened up a 6-4 lead after a forehand wide from Shapovalov and converted his first match point to reach his first Masters 1000 final. 

“I am very happy. I think today was a crazy match. It was really tough for us. On my side I am very happy because I won the match. I have two dreams tomorrow. One is winning a tournamnent like this and the secondo ne is being top 10. I need to play more than my 100 per cent. I don’t want to say i twill be impossible because it is not impossible. I know I can beat him, but it’s going to be difficult.”, said Schwartzman.  

Schwartzman will face Novak Djokovic in tomorrow’s final. If the Argentine wins the title match, he will break into the top 10. 

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Karolina Pliskova wins all-Czech semifinal against

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Defending champion Karolina Pliskova cruised past 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on the Central Court after 82 minutes to set up a final against Simona Halep at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome.

 

Pliskova has reached her second consecutive final in the Eternal City. 

Pliskova had already beat Vondrusova last year in Miami en route to reaching the final, where she lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. 

Pliskova got her first break in the fourth game to open a 4-1 lead. Vondrousova earned a break point in the seventh game, but Pliskova saved it with an overhead. Vondrousova saved two set points in the eighth game, but she faced a third chance after a forehand error. Pliskova broke serve with a backhand return on her third set point. 

Vondrousova broke serve in the first game of the second set with backhand. Pliskova broke straight back in the second game at deuce and saved two break point in the third game to hold serve for 2-1. Pliskova converted her third break point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Vondrousova broke straight back at 15 and held her service game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova saved a break point to hold serve for 5-4 and sealed the win with a break at 30 in the 10th game. 

Pliskova set up a final against Simona Halep, who beat Garbine Muguruza in the first semifinal. Pliskova won her last two head-to-head against Halep in 2019 in Miami and at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, but Halep leads 7-5.  

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